Los Angeles Clippers vs. Los Angeles Lakers Betting Predictions

LA Clippers vs Los Angeles Lakers Regular Season NBA
Los Angeles Clippers vs. Los Angeles Lakers Betting Predictions

This is a game that means very little except pride for the Los Angeles Clipper and Los Angeles Lakers. The two teams are comfortably resting in the top-two seeds in the Western Conference and are simply looking for some warmup games before the playoffs begin. The Clippers, though, have more urgency, making them a good choice in this matchup.

Los Angeles Clippers vs. Los Angeles Lakers Betting Odds

The NBA is rewarding its patient fans with an opening-night matchup between the top two teams in the Western Conference. The Los Angeles Clippers and Los Angeles Lakers came a long way just to play one another, but this is the type of game NBA fans deserve after the long pause.

There isn’t much at stake for either side in this 9 p.m. Thursday tipoff as the Lakers are 5.5 in front of the Clippers for the top seed in the Western Conference with just eight games left. The Clippers hold a more precarious 1.5-game lead over third-place Denver, which has a very manageable first four games in the bubble.

The Clippers will have to play without two-time defending Sixth Man of the Year Lou Williams, who will be quarantining for the next 10 days after leaving the bubble to attend a funeral then stopping at a strip club for dinner on his way back to Orlando. It’s a big blow to the squad, but it will give opportunities for Landry Shamet and Montrezl Harrell to shine as well as complementary pieces to Paul George and Kawhi Leonard.

The Lakers will also be missing a key complementary piece in Orlando as Avery Bradley opted against playing the remainder of this season. That will put more pressure on Kyle Kuzma to supplement what Anthony Davis and LeBron James do for the Lakers on the court, but will also require more production from Danny Green (8.2 points and 3.4 rebounds per game) and Alex Caruso (5.4 points and 1.8 assists per game).

The only statistic that matters to me, though, is the fact the Clippers have won two of the three head-to-head meetings this season. When combined with the fact they have more to play for than the Lakers, it makes it a much easier decision.

This isn’t to suggest the Lakers are going to be a pushover because LeBron James is nothing if not a competitor, but there isn’t as much of a reason for Davis and James to take over a game right now. They’ll be prepping themselves for the playoffs, so I’d take the Clippers on the moneyline at +164 over at FanDuel. For those who aren’t as bold, you can take the Clippers +4.5 points at one of the several sites offering the bet around -110.

My Prediction

Clippers Moneyline

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Josh Walfish is an award-winning journalist who has been covering college and professional sports in the United States. He holds a journalism degree from Northwestern University and his work has appeared in the Miami Herald, Chicago Sun-Times and Providence Journal. He most recently chronicled the UMass hockey teams rise to prominence over the last two years for the local newspaper

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